I know that before Pope Pius XII, the Communion Fast was from midnight. How is this? Was this more for Priests, Religious etc. who were probably awake at those hours? Because I would think 99% of the faithful would have been asleep long before midnight.
Sorry if this questions is stupid but I don't understand why it was from midnight if most of the members of the Church would be asleep by then I would think.
And at what time was the Mass? Were there no Masses after noon? How could you receive Holy Communion in a Mass after noon?
I can't remember exactly but I believe it was also during
the reign of Pius XII that we fasted from midnight. Of course we didn't actually fast from midnight; we fasted from the last meal of the previous day which could be around 6 pm. I never got up to have a pre-midnight snack and it was no major inconvenience. Not a big deal at all. The fast was for all Catholics who were going to receive Holy Communion during the Mass.
It was from midnight because that is the start of a new day.
Masses were (in our parish) every hour starting at 6am with the last one at 11am if my memory serves me correctly. We never had an afternoon mass or even a mid-day Mass. In fact if you wanted to have a Nuptial Mass you had a morning wedding. It was the custom, and I suppose similarly for Requiem Masses, though I don't remember attending any. Poche said:
This was one of the reasons for infrequent communion.
I disagree. The fast did not stopping people from receiving Holy Communion. If you were a diabetic you would of course be exempt from the fast. Also people would not have to travel very far to get to Mass as they do nowadays, unless you lived way out in the country, and then you were most likely made of stronger stuff.
Fasting these days seems to be regarded as something quite risky!